10 Vietnamese Expressions to Sound like Native Speakers

How to sound like a Vietnamese native speaker?

Simply learn these 10 common Vietnamese expressions that you can use in everyday life to impress the locals!

Here's a quick view of all the Vietnamese expressions that we are going to learn in this lesson.

Let’s jump right into our first Vietnamese expression!



1. Trời ơi

Meaning: Oh my god! / My god!
Similar phrases: Trời đất ơi / Trời ơi là trời

The word trời refers to “god” or “the sky” in Vietnamese. Just like in English, you can say trời ơi or trời đất ơi when you feel frustrated, disbelief or even angry about something.

In Northern dialect, you would here people say Giời ơi / Ôi giời ơi / Giời ơi là giời.

Example:

  • Trời ơi ồn quá! Làm ơn tắt nhạc đi!
    My god so noisy! Please turn off the music!

where the word đi, in this case is the ending particle, which we use to urge someone to take action.

Book Library Imag

2. Thôi chết rồi!

Meaning: Oh crap!

The word chết literally means “to die”. You can say thôi chết rồi when you face unexpected situations that aren’t pleasant!

Example:

  • Thôi chết rồi! Trễ giờ làm rồi!
    Oh crap! Late for work already!

——

3. Vậy hả?

Meaning: Is it? / Is it?
Similar phrases: Vậy đó hả?

In Southern dialect, some people would pronounce the letter "v" as "d". So you may also hear they say Dậy hả? or Dậy đó hả?

Example:

  • A: Trời ơi! Cái này ăn ngon lắm!
    A: Omg! This one (to eat) is so tasty!

  • B: Vậy đó hả!?
    B: Is it!?

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4. Thiệt hả?

Meaning: Really? / Seriously?
Similar phrases: Thật hả? / Thiệt luôn hả? / Thiệt không vậy?

Where the word thiệt or thật literally means “real” or “true”. So use them when you feel surprised and disbelieved about something.

Example:

  • A: Hôm qua mình đi shopping hết 10 triệu.
    A: Yesterday I went shopping (it) costs 10 million

  • B: Cái gì? Thiệt hả?
    B: What? Really?

——

5. Ai biết!

Meaning: Who knows!
Similar phrases: Ai mà biết! / Ai biết đâu!

Example:

  • A: Điện thoại của anh đâu?
    A: Where’s my phone?

  • B: Ai biết!
    B: Who knows!

Words that Sound like English - Vietnamese Loanwords

6. Mệt ghê!

Meaning: So tired! / So tiring

So you can say mệt ghê to express your frustration when you have to do something that you don’t like!

Example:

  • A: Đi rửa chén đi!
    A: Go wash dishes!

  • B: Biết rồi! Mệt ghê!
    B: I know already! So tired! (stop telling me)

——

7. Được quá ha!

Meaning: can be understood as “Uhm Quite good! Not bad
Similar phrases: Được ghê ha!

So you can say được quá ha or được ghê ha to give a remark when you’re kinda impressed about something that is better than expected.

Example:

  • A: Cái này bạn mua hai tặng một
    A: This one you buy two gift one

  • B: Ohh được quá ha!
    B: Ohh quite good!

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8. Sao cũng được

Meaning: whatever

Depending on your tone of voice, you might sound 'negative' or 'positive'. Negative here is when you don't respect or care about what someone is saying 'whatever!'. Positive is when you express something like "whatever is fine (up to you)."

Examples:

  • Bạn muốn nghĩ sao cũng được
    Whatever you want to think

  • Sao cũng được, cái đó không quan trọng
    Whatever, that one is not important

——

9. Nói rồi!

Meaning: Told you! / Told you already!
Similar phrases: Nói rồi mà!

So we can say Nói rồi! or Nói rồi mà to tell someone that you were right about something that they disagreed with.

Example:

  • Nói rồi! Bị ho đừng có uống nước đá!
    Told you! (When) getting a cough don’t drink iced water!
Book Library Imag

10: Khoan

Meaning: Wait / Hang on
Similar phrases: Khoan từ từ

In the same circumstances, you can also use the phrase từ từ which has a different meaning of "slowly".

Example:

  • Khoan từ từ! Đợi mình nghe điện thoại xíu!
    Hang on! Wait for me to answer the phone a tiny bit!

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